Communication takes up a large part of our daily lives, and no matter how much you avoid it, it stares you in the face from the moment you wake up. Think for a moment about what your day usually looks like. Your day may start with you reading text messages; praying; or fighting with someone on Twitter. Either way, communication is involved.
70% of your day is spent communicating, and of that time 16% is spent reading, 30% is spent talking, 9% is spent writing and 45% is spent listening. We could be a 'jack of all trades' when it comes to this, but we are certainly a master of none.
So, how do you know if you are actually communicating effectively? What is the magic trick?
Measure yourself against these four points (refer to the header image):
Send the message effectively - if you are leading a conversation, or presenting a report to your colleagues, make sure your opening statement is clear. There is no need to bombard a person with difficult words. Keep it clear and concise. Remember, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. How do you know if you have communicated effectively? That is all in how the person responds.
The person or people you are talking to will listen and respond. This can be tricky because a person may respond based on what they perceive instead of what has been communicated. In an ideal world, a person will listen to what has been communicated and will respond accordingly. If the response isn't clear, then you take the next step:
Clarify what you initially communicated. This gives you an opportunity to clear up any confusion. Once again, reiterate clearly and respectfully.
The person or people will then confirm that they understand what you have said.
It always helps to keep a mental note of these steps so that you can hold yourself accountable in communicating effectively. Save the header image of this post, and refer to it whenever you need to.
In summary, remember how much of your day involves communication. Measure yourself by referring to the four-step process. Lastly, remember that a large portion of this four-step process involves listening. So, just as much as you are talking, make sure that you are listening. Listening to the other person gives you the right to talk. Oh wait, my last last point: simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - remember that in your conversations, presentations, interviews and meetings.
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